Can an App Save Your Life? Top 5 Emergency Preparedness Apps

Posted on Sep 18 2013 - 11:18am by Ben Vaughn

First Aid

Smartphone apps run the gamut of functions and there is app for every need. What you may not realize is that nestled among of this huge diversity of apps there exist a host of emergency preparedness apps that could potentially save your life in the event of a disaster or other emergency situation. From apps that provide up to date information on emergency shelters, storm warnings, and first aid to interactive emergency planning, if your phone isn’t outfitted with at least one of these apps, you’re simply unprepared. Here is a look at some of the best free emergency preparedness apps for iPhone and Android devices.

1. American Red Cross First Aid App

Prepare yourself to handle an emergency situation with this official Red Cross first aid app. Full of expert advice through videos, interactive quizzes, detailed instructions, and easy to follow step-by-step response procedures, this is both an educational and potentially life saving app to have on hand. While you may not want to learn first aid during an actual emergency, having professional medical information at your fingertips anytime can allow you to familiarize yourself with first aid procedures and prepare to address an emergency as a first responder.

2. FEMA Emergency Management App

From the Federal Emergency Management Agency, this official app features up to date information on emergency meeting locations, detailed instructions on disaster safety and recovery, interactive emergency kit checklists, and a map of FEMA recovery centers and shelters. There is even an overview of different types of disasters and how to prepare for each of them. This is a great planning app available for Android, iPhone, iPad, and Blackberry.

3. Red Cross Shelter Finder

Another app by the American Red Cross features data from the National Shelter System and displays all current shelter information. This information is updated every 30 minutes, so you are sure to get the most recent information available across the U.S. This app will give you important information regarding specific disasters, shelter addresses and locations, shelter capacity, population, and the agency managing the shelter. During a natural disaster this is one of the most important apps you can have.

4. Disaster Alert Network App–ubAlert

This app operates as a global disaster alert service through the ubAlert social network. The app provides real time information about disasters globally. Everything from specific disaster details and statistics to images, maps, and videos are provided in the app. The Disaster Alert Network functions as a real time knowledge sharing app and all of these alerts and information can be shared easily via email, Facebook, and Twitter with the push of a button. This app is available for Android, iPhone and iPad.

5. American Heart Association CPR

Similar to the Red Cross first aid app, this app from the American Heart Association details first aid and CPR instructions for immediate access on your iPhone or Android device. Regularly updated, the latest version contains over 30 videos and 40+ high resolution images for step-by-step first aid instruction in an easy to navigate, user friendly interface. Emergency first aid is an important skill and this interactive app is a great place to start.

Beyond this sampling of apps, there are many others that pertain to specific disasters–earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc. and contain detailed, real time information on emergency preparedness, specific responses, and medical care. These apps allow you to get quick updates and learn how to better prepare and respond to a disaster or other emergency situation. Access to all of this potentially life saving data is as easy as a quick download.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Marcin Wichary

About the Author

Ben Vaughn has written for DKI Canada on topics as diverse as disaster cleanup, contents restoration, home water conservation, and emergency preparedness apps. He is passionate about writing, international affairs, travel, and mountaineering among other things.